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Former Soviet Union nation welcoming gay men fleeing torture in Chechnya

2017-05-20
Gay men fleeing torture in Chechnya have found an unlikely ally. The small Baltic nation of Lithuania, which was once part of the Soviet Union, is openly welcoming gay men who are desperately trying to escape persecution. According to reports, so far two men have been granted Visas, and the county's Foreign Minister, Linas Linkevicius urging other European countries to do the same. He took to Twitter to spread the messaging, saying: "Today is zero-tolerance day against hatred, fear, discrimination of all forms of sexuality. Denying reality is not an option | #IDAHOT2017". It comes following reports that Donald Trump is refusing to grant visas to those escaping the country. A spokesperson for Russia LGBT Network told Buzzfeed news that the organisation is having “difficulty” securing visas that would allow the men to escape torture and possible death. While the spokesperson refused to name all of the countries that are pushing back, they did say: “We were informed that the US is not going to issue visas for people from Chechnya.” However, the U.S State Department refused to comment on the claims, responding: “As visa records are confidential under U.S. law, we are unable to discuss individual cases.”